Appearing on today’s episode of Heavy Live With Scoop B, I asked former Los Angeles Dodger, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays legend, Carl Crawford; a Houston,Texas native who he’d like to see become the next head coach of the Houston Rockets.
“Ooohh, I like a lot of people,” Crawford told me.
“I mean, for me I’d rather get a Mark Jackson or Kenny Smith, you know? One of those two guys. That’s who I would like to see. I mean, why is he blackballed? What did he do? In Golden State, he was the one that got them to that level, right? And they took him right after that. So I just want to see what he can do. And also we need to get a big man down too in Houston. We have to make a whole lot of changes with our team. It’s not just the coach. We done using this one recipe for the longest so, we need to just try to shake everything up if you ask me.”
The Houston Rockets are believed to have narrowed their head coaching candidacy to three people: Stephen Silas, Jeff Van Gundy and John Lucas.
In three NBA seasons, Jackson went 121-109 and developed All Stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Jackson was fired by the Warriors in 2014 despite leading the Dubs to consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in over 20 years.
Since Jackson’s firing, the Warriors have won multiple championships and Jackson has done television duties as an analyst on ESPN.
Million Dollar Question: Is Mark Jackson blackballed?
“Yes, Mark Jackson is blackballed,” said retired NBA big man and current hoops analyst, Brendan Haywood on a recent Instagram Live dialogue.
More from Haywood via a transcript from NBA scribe Landon Buford:
“I think that [Andre] Iguodala talked about that. He gave some insight into it and I think Mark Jackson is blackballed because he didn’t get along with his front office. I think Mark Jackson blackballed because some of his religious beliefs got mixed in with the team as far as, some Christian beliefs don’t blind with the LGBTQ community.
“I also think some of the altercations with his assistant coaches and how that situation ended up. So, Mark Jackson is definitely being blackballed. We know the guy can coach, but a lot of people are afraid to touch him because of those issues. And I think LGBTQ issue is really big. A coach that spoke out against that community in this climate, it is hard to hire that guy it is.”
Mark Jackson is respected as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. A one-time NBA All-Star, Jackson was the 18th pick in the 1987 NBA Draft by way of his hometown New York Knicks. The Brooklyn, New York native and St. John’s University product averaged 9.6 points and eight rebounds in two stints with the Knicks and Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.
Jackson’s former Indiana Pacers teammate Al Harrington thinks so too. “Obviously he’s been blackballed,” Harrington told me on Heavy Live With Scoop B.
“It’s just no way around it. I’m not sure who it was, but somewhere in that organization and I think Jerry West was there and I’m sure he has a lot of clout within sports period and I’m not saying it’s him but somebody blackballed him.”